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How To Check For Skin Cancer

I have recently referred two of my clients to a Dermatologist where they were diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma, so I wanted to show to you that checking for skin cancer or suspicious markings on the skin is as simple as knowing your ABC’s.

Skin cancer is on the rise, roughly 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime, however skin cancer is just the beginning, it could lead or develop into other types of cancer.

Here is a guide developed by skin care experts on how to look for visible changes on the skin. An app called UMSkinCheck is available from iTunes, it sends automatic reminders and offers step by step instructions for self skin examination. It also provides pictures of various types of skin cancers for comparison, with any questionable markings on the skin you may encounter.

If you are not technology savvy, then the classic method of checking will still help.

Follow these ABCDEs of mole detection to check for potential risks and red flags.

  • Asymmetrical - an irregularly shaped mole.
  • Borders - the bordersor edges of the mole are uneven.
  • Colour: the mole is multi coloured.
  • Diameter - the mole is larger in diameter than 6mm, about the width of the top of a pencil.
  • Evolving - the mole has changed over time.
  • Firm - the mole is harder than surrounding tissue and does not flatten if you press it.
  • Growing - the mole is getting gradually larger.

Summer is just around the corner, however, the prevention of skin cancer should be all year round because ultraviolet rays are always present.

Follow these tips for prevention and protection from UV rays.

  • Apply a teaspoon to the face and a shot glass amount to the body of a broad spectrum UVA and UVB SPF daily, that is right, everyday. Apply 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport Spf50 is water resistant for up to 40 minutes making it an ideal holiday sunscreen for the family.
  • Our best selling product for the face is SkinCeuticals Mineral Radiance and SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50. Both are cosmetically elegant and moisturising, even for the oiliest complexions, and make a perfect make-up base. Ideal for daily use.
  • Ensure protection by wearing a minimum SPF15, however SPF30 is preferable. Reapply every two hours. Seek shade, do not burn.
  • Exfoliate! It not only smoothes and freshens skin, it helps to remove possible precancerous cells before they become dangerous, we recommend Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant to brighten and balance out uneven pigmentation revealing a smoother more refined skin.
  • Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants, a variety of foods have been found to help minimise the attack of free radical damage and even help protect us from the inside out. Drink moderate amounts of green tea or coffee and consume berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and cherries. Coloured peppers, red ripe tomatoes, turmeric root, and cocoa have all been found to be some of nature’s antioxidants.

Would you wear a Face Kini, they are all the rage in Qingdao, China. This light cloth looks much like a ski mask but allows one to enjoy the water and sand without the effects of the sun, much like wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Not quite sure they will be all the rage here though, just an idea.

You can still enjoy your time in the sun, just remember to be safe and remember your ABCDEFG’s when examining your skin.

Profile Photo of Alex Echeverri author for John and Ginger
Alex Echeverri
Wednesday, June 14, 2017